the parable of the black slime

September 25, 2004

I had a chance to repeat one of life’s least pleasant experiences today. (Those of you who know me outside of cyberville, please forgive, because you have likely heard a similar version of this before…) My wife pointed out to me that her bathroom sink was slow draining and needed to be unclogged. I’d just like to take this opportunity to point out that it was her sink — mine drains fine. In fact, this is why we have two sinks I think. At the end of this story, you will understand why I told her she could no longer use a sink. I had dealt with this before, but in a prior house, where we both shared a sink. I’m just going to go ahead and assume (quite safely methinks) that it was her fault that time as well. Since I’m way off course anyway at this point, I think I’ll add that she actually commented that her sink was draining slowly about a year ago. Again, once the story is finished, I think you’ll appreciate and perhaps even affirm my choice to delay resolving this problem.

Now, in case you’ve forgotten where we started, let me say again that my wife pointed out to me this morning that her sink was draining quite slowly and needed to be unclogged. The previous time this happened (in case you’ve forgotten, I mentioned above that this has happened before) I tried everything on the market to clear out the sink, but nothing worked. Finally, a friend informed me that I would need to actually take apart the sink and clear out the sink trap. This time, I completely bypassed the off the shelf products and went straight for the wrench.

In case you’ve never had this pleasure, I really can’t describe what comes out of the sink trap and drain assembly when you take it apart. (In fact, perhaps you could let my wife borrow your sink every evening and morning for the next few years, then you could see it firsthand.) There is not a black hair on my wife’s head, and none of the health products which we regularly use resemble anything close to black. Yet, somehow, this sink was completely clogged with a black slimey substance and fair amount of hair thrown in for a delightful texture.

You will be happy to know that the sink now drains beautifully. As it should.

My life is filled with black slime. I thank God that through the work of Jesus on the cross and the Spirit, that slime has been and continues to be removed. But yet, I should never be happy with only that. My wife’s sink was never meant only to have a slime free drain. It was meant so that it could provide a free and open flow. That is true with me (and you) as well. God did not simply remove our slime so we could claim to be slime free. He is at work on us so his blessings can pour out into this world through us. The more we remove that obstructive gook, the more he can pour into this world.

Be grateful for what he has done in you. But make sure those around you are grateful for what he is doing through you.

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